Some whiskies with smoke haven’t gone through the traditional way of drying the malt, obtaining their smoke, for example, from peat.

Archie Rose is an Australian distillery that produces fantastic whisky and is very transparent about their process, which is a feature I really appreciate.

Back in 2020, I tasted Archie Rose Rye Malt Whisky for the first time, and what a delightful experience it was, but that’s not the one we’re discussing today.

It’s one of the experiments they did, released in 2019: an Ironbark Smoked Rye Malt Whisky.

The interesting thing about how this Rye whisky acquired its smoky flavor is that it wasn’t through malt smoking, but by adding smoke to the water used to dilute the finished matured rye whisky.

So, they made a regular Rye New Make, which was then aged in Virgin American Oak with a char #4. They let it rest for 2ยฝ-3 years. Large pieces of ice were melted in an oven over an Ironbark fire. Ironbark is the bark from eucalyptus trees, and its smoke was infused into the water in this process. This water was then used to dilute the whisky from cask strength to 40% ABV.

There aren’t many instances where whisky gets its smoke notes this way, and it’s quite different from the more traditional method. One might debate whether flavor is added in this process or if it would be the same as using water that has passed through peat, imparting a smoky flavor to the whisky.

I would say it has given a delightful smoky flavor and a different smoke taste. It’s gentler and rounder, and the flavor is, of course, different because the smoke from eucalyptus bark brings different smoke notes than, say, peat smoke.

It’s wonderful when experimentation leads to discoveries, either by accident or out of curiosity.

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Gentle smoke with salty aromas, campfire bread with strawberry jam, chorizo sausage, fried bacon


Baked campfire bread, spiced butter, dark chocolate, grated orange peel, ginger, a hint of licorice, creamy caramel


Medium-length, soft bonfire ash, mocha

๐Ÿ…พ๐Ÿ†…๐Ÿ…ด๐Ÿ† ๐Ÿ…ฐ๐Ÿ…ป๐Ÿ…ป

It’s an interesting rye whisky and a great experience. I hope I get the chance to taste it again someday, though unfortunately, there’s probably not much likelihood of that happening. I don’t think they’ve produced it more than once.

By Whisky Adventurer

Behind the name Whisky Adventurer is Lars Modvig Hesselberg. In short, I enjoy immersing myself in all aspects of the whisky world. I enjoy the stories, the people, the scents, the development, the taste, the variety, the big ones, the small ones, the distilleries and much more. Telling and passing on knowledge and experiences through speech, writing and pictures is a big part of the whole experience for me.